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TODAY'S NEWS

today’s news for Wednesday, July 1, 2020

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CampusLogic. What happens when you ask three students to find the answer to a routine financial aid question? Between confusing websites and unhelpful chatbots, the results may surprise you. Watch how students interact with varying levels of technology, and learn how to ensure they get the help they need and deserve.

NEWS FROM NASFAA

Senate Democrats led by Patty Murray (D-Wash.), ranking member on the Senate education committee, put forward a new coronavirus relief package that would provide additional aid for institutions of higher education and impose a number of restrictions on the Department of Education's (ED) authority in implementation of the new bill. The Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act (CCCERA), which totals $430 billion, would allocate $132 billion for higher education to help colleges and universities deliver education-based initiatives, implement public health protocols, and provide emergency financial aid to students for expenses like food, housing, child care, and technology.

A report issued last week by the Department of Education’s (ED) Office of Inspector General (OIG) determined that the Office of Federal Student Aid's (FSA) total and permanent disability (TPD) discharge process appropriately processed applications, but also found a number of weaknesses within the program’s design. The TPD discharge process, which dates back to July of 2013, relieves student loan borrowers who are totally and permanently disabled according to federal program requirements of having to repay federal student loans or complete their grant service obligations. From fiscal years 2014 through 2018, more than 715,000 borrowers had $17.7 billion in loan principal and $1.8 billion in interest discharged through the program.

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) has unveiled new legislation that would provide low-income students with direct stimulus payments that were previously made unavailable to them under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. When federal aid was allocated under the relief measure, a number of college students did not qualify. Rush’s measure, dubbed the Student Recovery Eligibility for Low-Income Individuals to Exact Funds (RELIEF) Act, would make Pell Grant recipients eligible for a $1,200 direct stimulus payment, which was provided under the CARES Act. “It is critical that we ensure the vitality of these vulnerable students and their families, especially during these unprecedented times,” Rush said. Congress is currently in the early stages of crafting it’s next bicameral aid package to counter the economic impact of the novel coronavirus.

COVID-19 ASKREGS

AskRegs

No. Dear Colleague Letters GEN-09-04 and GEN-09-05 no longer apply, and the June 20, 2020 FSA Handbook changes to the 2020-21 Application and Verification Guide (AVG) appear to be the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) way of notifying the community. View the full answer to this question to learn more and search for answers to your other pressing regulatory and compliance questions, in NASFAA's AskRegs Knowledgebase.

AskRegs

Yes, but only as long as the student withdrew for reasons related to the COVID-19 national emergency. According to guidance NASFAA has received from the U.S. Department of Education (ED), when a student withdraws after the 60% point, the student has earned all of his or her Title IV aid that was disbursed or could have been disbursed, and there is no unearned aid to be returned. View the full answer to this question to learn more and search for answers to your other pressing regulatory and compliance questions, in NASFAA's AskRegs Knowledgebase.

AskRegs

No. The payments towards the satisfactory repayment arrangement are temporarily suspended and will resume when loan repayment resumes. View the full answer to this question to learn more and search for answers to your other pressing regulatory and compliance questions, in NASFAA's AskRegs Knowledgebase.

NASFAA UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

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Our live webinars bring you the latest information on a variety of important topics and encourage you to actively engage with NASFAA staff and featured presenters. You can invite an unlimited number of people from your institution/organization to participate with just one site license. Check out the full 2020-21 webinar schedule to mark your calendar and register for webinars of interest. If you can't tune in for the live event, not to worry — most of our webinars are recorded so you can watch them at your convenience. As a reminder for Value Plus members and webinar package purchasers, your NASFAA membership must be paid in full for the checkout process to reflect webinars as free. Primary Contacts can review and pay membership invoices online.

Blue Icon

To complement NASFAA's Summer Training Series, Blue Icon Advisors has expanded its peer-to-peer "Let's Talk" events to include panel discussions and mini breakout sessions. Join peers in your sector tomorrow, July 2, at 1:00 p.m. ET to discuss issues working with income-share agreements with colleagues who are currently working with these agreements at their institutions. Ask questions, and apply what you heard during this week's Summer Training Series webinar. Capacity is limited, so register today.

CFAA Logo

Have you scheduled your knowledge exam yet? Exam dates and times are filling up, so be sure to schedule your exam session soon. The upcoming testing window is open from July 8-22, 2020. The next available testing window will open in October. Learn more about the testing process and make sure you meet all of the technical requirements. If you haven’t already applied, it’s not too late to complete your application online.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is looking for the best and brightest to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation. If you are a highly motivated, creative individual who would like to work for an agency that establishes policies on federal financial aid for education, distributes as well as monitors those funds; collects data on America's schools and disseminates research; focuses national attention on key educational issues; and prohibits discrimination and ensures equal access to education, ED is the place for you!

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